New Delhi: In a significant development, a Varanasi court on Friday allowed a “scientific survey” of the entire Gyanvapi mosque located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The court, in its order, allowed a “scientific survey” of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex except the ‘Vuzukhana’ area, which was sealed on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The court said the survey would be carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). AK Vishwesh’s court upheld a petition by a group of Hindu devotees seeking a “scientific survey” to determine whether the mosque was built on the site of a Hindu temple. The court had completed the arguments on this matter on 14 July.
According to news agency ANI, Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in the case, said, “I have been informed that my application has been accepted and the court has given me permission to conduct an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, except for the Vaju tank.” Instructions have been given, which have been sealed.”
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#Watch , Gyanvapi case: Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi mosque case, says, “I have been informed that my application has been approved and the court has directed an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, except for the Vazu tank… pic.twitter.com/TX4hXzyZ5j— ANI (@ANI) 21 July 2023
The court passed the order in May this year in response to an application filed by four women worshippers, who claimed that the Gyanvapi mosque had signs of an ancient Hindu temple. Through another petition, five women had sought permission to offer prayers at the ‘Shringar Gauri Sthal’ inside the campus.
Advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, representing the Hindu side in the case, said, “Our application for ASI survey has been accepted. This is a turning point in the case.”
During the previous hearing in the case, the mosque committee had opposed the Hindu side’s plea seeking an ASI survey and submitted an application in the Varanasi court stating that neither Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was cruel nor did he demolish any temple of Lord Adi Vishweshwar in Varanasi.
The Muslim side also refuted the Hindu side’s contention that the Lord Adi Vishweshwar temple was attacked and destroyed by a Muslim invader and that King Tondal Mal rebuilt the temple at the same site in 1580 AD.
The committee also said in its application that no Shivling was found inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex last year and the object was actually a ‘fouvara’ (fountain).
On May 16, 2022, a court-ordered videographic survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Masjid was completed by a local court-appointed commission. During the survey proceedings, a structure claimed by the Hindu side to be a “Shivling” was found inside the mosque premises.